Every agency has its own internal processes. Maybe this involves numerous software programs to handle content management, invoicing, internal communication and even editorial calendars. But why? There is no need to have pieces of the client puzzle scattered everywhere and littered across many different platforms and programs.
How can agencies scale back these processes and make them more efficient, saving time and lowering stress, too? The easiest answer is that agencies need to look into project management software to help their teams streamline agency management processes.
Challenges for Agency Project Management
Many agencies or digital marketing teams juggle many tasks at once. Teams are creating editorial calendars each month to manage content client scheduling, managers are delegating these tasks to writers, creatives and others to get the job done. Then these tasks have to make their way to the client for approval. After that, the writing/infographic/video gets scheduled for publication. At the end, everyone invoices, the client is happy, and the agency lives happily ever after, right?
Not so much. Tasks can get bogged down within the flow of delegation. Maybe a writer falls behind in creating a blog article. Or maybe someone forgot to schedule the article to go live on the editorial calendar. Now, that completed blog entry is sitting unwanted in Word or some content management system.
Without streamlined processes, there are simply way too many opportunities for the workflow to kink and somehow become all knotted up. Agencies/teams that use multiple platforms or programs for separate project tasks run the risk of something getting lost in the shuffle.
Yes, agencies can message via Slack. They can create on a CMS or even in Word. Editorial calendars can be built and stored in a standard spreadsheet. And emails can be sent back and forth to confirm deadlines, updates and client feedback.
But in balancing, managing and, most importantly, keeping all these documents and platforms open on the screen to stay caught up on the updates, due dates can be missed and conversations can be buried deep in old email streams. This is how a campaign can fall behind, or worse…fail!
Ways that Agency Project Management Can Improve an Agency’s Profitability
Keeping tasks in order, on deadline and on budget requires that agencies keep all the pieces in one place. If a task that was delegated for edits stays in the editor’s inbox for a week past deadline, the publication date will likely be missed, too.
Budgets—and staying on budget—helps the agency also maximize profitability. How can profits be affected by poor processes within the agency? Poor internal communication can lead to longer meetings to sort out issues, and, if employees are hourly, this is time and money wasted. Even salaried employees, though, could waste precious billable hours simply because they have to hunt down documents or emails.
Even freelancers can be affected by scattered processes. An editor could assign an article to a novice writer who doesn’t know what they’re doing; this, in turn, may mean the article has to be rewritten by another writer…costing more money. Maybe there were notes on a spreadsheet about each writer’s experience or detailing which clients were best suited for their talents. Oops, the editor didn’t have access to that info. Now the project is over budget!
Details matter. Having those notes or data organized in one program ensures that nothing is lost or overlooked. Agency project management software should allow the agency to build customized project hubs for each client. And within individual task pages for clients, even more data can be stored.
How to Create an Agency Project Management Process
If the agency is used to juggling multiple software programs and platforms, the idea of storing everything on one program might be a bit overwhelming. It isn’t, we promise!
The best way to simplify workflow processes is to automate those processes. Task management features are important to software for agency project management. Task management features in software should allow the agency to create a workflow schedule for each project.
For example, a blog article task can be created in the system, but the agency can then select how the article will move through the team. The task process can begin with it being assigned to a writer; when the writer completes the article, the writer would click the task complete and the workflow would move to the editor. The editor reviews, either approves or denies the article, and then the content moves to the client for approval. After the client approves the article, a final task is assigned for a team member to publish it on the site (or send it out to be published on another site).
Task management should be easily visible within the program. Typically, agencies will create a master editorial calendar that includes each content assignment and its status. However, comprehensive software programs for agency project management also should include a dashboard that shows each team member a list of their task, and the status of each task.
There should not be a need to hunt down due dates or look through different spreadsheets to discover the status of a project or task.
Understanding the status of a task or project also leans into the need for order management. Whether orders are based on client deliverables, or campaigns that your team is conducting, it’s important to track all of the moving pieces for each order or campaign.
Keeping track of deadlines and deliverables is crucial, and being able to know the status of each and every moving piece can be time consuming and difficult.
While no due dates may be even close to arriving, the agency still needs to be able to understand if work has been ordered and what the time frames are for each project task throughout the month. When agencies work with many programs, it’s easy for a task order to fall through the cracks. When a manager realizes that a blog article wasn’t ordered for the month, the agency is already behind…and has already not met client expectations.
How’s the team? Do you know? Their happiness and productivity matter. If they aren’t getting things done, then deadlines won’t be met. At a glance, a comprehensive project management platform should allow agencies to check a team member’s productivity. If they’re hourly, managers can see how efficiently they completed an assignment.
Are goals being met? Does one team member constantly miss deadlines? Software should show or measure work habits. Gryffin, for example, shows on each team member’s dashboard a grid that details late assignments over the past month. Of course, managers see this data, too. This helps the agency understand who is efficient, and who, perhaps, needs to streamline their own processes.
Messaging and email platforms are quick ways to communicate. Unfortunately, though, those messages can get lost easily. Team members receive so many messages each day that email streams can become a massive scroll of text. Trying to find that one piece of client data could be a hunt.
Keeping communications related to a specific project within the project can be an easy way to always have context around your messaging. This not only helps for historical analysis, but also makes communicating more streamlined and effective. Everyone can finally be on the same page…literally. Agencies also can give clients access, too, in order to get feedback etc about a project.
Agencies may create reports using different software. Why? Those reports need to be in the same place, too. Create reports related to tasks or budgets using built-in reporting tools. Gryffin offers templates for these reports to be created instantly. Stop wasting time writing out reports in another document or via a different software.
Gryffin is the best software to streamline agency project management processes. Gryffin can ease data hunt challenges, simplify workflow and task management, help the agency take control of order management, track team productivity and time and automate reporting processes. Try out Gryffin today and see how it can improve your agency’s processes! A free trial is just a click away!